Friday, November 14, 2014

Blog Tour Review: After the Rain by Renee Carlino

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a deeply emotional contemporary romance about the second chances waiting beyond the shattered dreams of youth.

Under the bright arena lights of a rodeo show, young Avelina Belo falls for a handsome cowboy with a larger-than-life personality. After a whirlwind courtship, she happily moves away from her family in northern California and settles into married life with her cowboy on a seven-thousand-acre cattle ranch in Montana. One freak accident later, Avelina’s hopes for the future come to an end.

Nate Myers graduated from UCLA medical school at the top of his class, ready to follow in the footsteps of his father, a superstar cardiothoracic surgeon. Six years later, Nate’s career is being ruined by a malpractice suit. Questioning himself for the first time, he retreats to a Montana cattle ranch to visit his uncle and gain perspective. There, he meets a beautiful young woman named Avelina who teaches him more than he ever knew about matters of the heart.

4.5 Star Review by Jennifer Hagen

Ava met Jake at a young 18 years old at a rodeo where Jake was a participant.  Jake’s charisma devoured Ava and there was no way she could not fall in love with him quickly.  They had an all-consuming love that found her married at 19 years of age.  It was so consuming that she gave up her education, never graduating from high school or completing a GED,  to live the life of a ranch hand working alongside Jake.  They were happy being on the ranch and especially loved their horses.  A terrible accident struck them while they were out on the range miles away from home. 

I tried to convince myself that no God would let this kind of tragedy happen to two people so in love with such a long, hopeful future in front of them.  But course, I knew that wasn’t true.

Throughout Jake’s recovery, Jake only thought of himself.  He turned cruel and verbal venom flowed from him.  He became just like somebody he hated – his father.  In the end he loved himself more than he loved her and Jake made a decision that to this day haunts Ava.  Ava is now a shell, keeps to herself, and doesn’t allow herself to feel anything built guilt.

At nineteen, I became cold and hard and looked forward to the end of my bleak existence.    

Nate has always felt the need to follow in his father’s footsteps, becoming the next great cardiac surgeon.  Nate has never had friendships, choosing instead to focus on his studies and skip a couple of high school grades.   Several people are concerned that he focuses too much of his life on his work, including his father.  He has a cat to come home to – that is whenever he chooses to come home.   Nate has recently been placed on leave from work after making a deadly incorrect diagnosis.  Nate’s father demands that Nate take some time for himself in order to regroup, thus sending Nate out to Montana where Nate’s uncle owns a ranch.

It has been four years since Ava was last loved by Jake.  Nate’s arrival on the ranch throws Ava into a tailspin, making her realize what she has been missing.

The carefree look Nate wore reminded me of a feeling I used to know but had been absent for so long.  It was the first time in a long time that I wished for that feeling back.

Nate brings out a side of Ava that people haven’t seen for years.  They are used to her hiding in her cabin, never mingling with anybody other than the workers on the ranch.  Little by little Nate is able to bring her around to the land of the living again, and in turn a new romance is on the horizon.  Nate is good for Ava, and Ava is good for Nate.  He is able to focus on the living, instead of wondering what will happen following the death of his patient.  Nate is finding comfort in Montana and is using his heart instead of fixing one.

“I’m not this guy.  You make me feel…”  He searched for the words.  “You make me feel.  That’s it.  I haven’t felt anything for anyone like this.”

This time around Ava is not going to let love consume her.  She is going to be able to stand on her own even if it means walking away from Nate.  She is going to take a path of self discovery and Nate will be there waiting for her, but will Ava be there for him?

“What will we do after the rain?”
“After the rain, you’ll make a decision.  I want you to come back with me, when you’re ready of course, but I want you to live with me.”
She gave no indication that she would say yes or no.

I love Ms. Carlino’s stories.  She is one of my favorite authors and I never miss the opportunity to read her writings.  They are always full of emotional pulls, but this one seems to be the one that pulled more at me than the others.  My favorite character of hers will always be Will from “Sweet Thing”, but this story was such an emotional journey that it will stay with me for a very long time.  It’s a beautiful story along with beautiful writing…you can’t go wrong with it.

RenĂ©e Carlino lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog, June. When she's not at the beach
with her boys or working on her next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.
To learn more, visit

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